Episode 4: Gay Money

March 7th, 2019

This week, we are bringing you a newer take on a classic from season 1.

This story came to us through Ellen Rabin in an interview with Bonnie Gabel and Rachel Lee.  Ellen became an ancestor in September 2018.  She was a entrepreneur and community caregiver for the LGBTQIA+ community of New Orleans all her life.  She owned several businesses throughout her life, including the Apple Barrel in the Marigny Triangle (now Horns -- previously La Peniche).  She shared so much of herself with so many people and kept so many people safe when they had no where else to go.

Her friend, Alda Talley, said this of her:

"She provided the places we could gather, like The Apple Barrel. She dealt with the mob (absolutely required in decades passed) so that others might open their bars, obtain a liquor license, have a jukebox and pinball machines, and be allowed to stay open w/o harassment. Somehow, she did this w/o ever paying them a dime. When they finally demanded money she left town instead, waited for a few years, and then was right back at it. She used her connections inside the NOPD to warn of raids on the bars, to keep people out of jail, and to get them out and cleared when necessary. Ellen housed, fed, and even sent to college many of our most vulnerable trans folks, sufferers from AIDS, victims of Queer on Queer violence, the down, and out. Her home was open to all comers, whatever their need. She helped bury our dead when no one else would claim them. All the while maintaining her raucous laughing ways and surviving multiple cancers and chronic illnesses. We should, any of us, be and do even half of all Ellen did for all of us. Blessed be Ellen Rabin with the Angels and the Saints. Blessed are we all for her having lived among us."

We are SO SO thankful for Ellen and SO thankful she shared so many of her stories and experiences with us.  She is survived by a vibrant community who misses her.


this episode was produced and scored by free feral.

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